Young children's close relationships outside the family: Parental ethnotheories in four communities in Norway, United States, Turkey, and Korea

Vibeke G. Aukrust, Carolyn Pope Edwards, Asiye Kumru, Lisa Knoche, Misuk Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parents, preschools, and schools in different cultures vary greatly in the extent to which children are encouraged to develop long-term relationships with people outside the family circle-peers and teachers. In contemporary societies, parents face complex choices as they bridge children's transitions to a wider world. This exploratory cross-cultural study used a newly developed questionnaire, Parental Concerns for Preschool Children Survey, to assess parental beliefs, values, and judgments. The sample included 521 parents from four cities: Oslo, Norway; Lincoln (Nebraska), United States; Ankara, Turkey; Seoul, Korea. Strong cultural community differences were found in parental descriptions of their own child's friendships and beliefs about the needs of young children in general for close and continuing relationships in preschool and primary. The findings suggest the following conclusions, for example: Oslo parents favoured the value of long-term continuity with peers and teachers; Lincoln parents had a more academic than relational focus to school and wanted their children to deal successfully with (new) teachers in different settings; Ankara parents (an upwardly mobile sample) were low in reporting their child's friendships at preschool but valued parent-teacher and child-child relationships there; Seoul parents (oriented to education as a means to economic success) favoured their children having quality learning experiences and close peer relationships in preschool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-494
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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